Friday, December 31, 2010

Until Next Year

I'm posting my final blog of 2010. I thought I would do it this morning, since I may not have time after work. I didn't do a lot of in-depth resolutions, but I did start thinking about time and food in my previous blogs. I'm trying to decide whether to start a new blog for 2011 with a specific purpose, or stick with this one. I think instead of doing "one new recipe ever day" blog, I'm going to do "one new recipe every week" blog. That's not to say that I won't try more than one new recipe a week, but sometimes we have leftover days, and I just don't feel like trying a new one. Plus, I don't want to be so overwhelmed with the task of blogging and picturing and creating every day that I burn out after the first month. Once a week sounds doable. Sometime next week I will start this blog primarily for cooking, and I'll keep this one for other happenings. I think that will be a good way to do things. I can still have multiple blogs under the same username, so this shouldn't be too difficult.

Some thoughts:

I love being married. It's awesome. I find myself constantly learning to serve, and seeing myself as more selfish that I thought before saying "I do." It's character building, and growing me in more areas than I'd imagined.

Resolution: Keep Alex my priority, and don't forget it. No matter where I work, or what I do, he is more important.

Although I have been a Christian for some time now, I still have so much to learn.

Resolution: keep reminders to be in prayer. read the same passages as Alex so that we can learn together.

My body is a temple, and my mission in life is to become Christlike

Resolution: Eat healthy and exercise so that I can serve wherever He calls me. Serve with excellence in all circumstances.

Some of these start today. Last day of the year, and I'm ordering at Hobby Lobby. Normally, ordering would be short, since it's post Christmas and we are already overstocked on a lot of items. However, we are also doing "counts" were we count the items to see if we are overstock and then keep a count of all the items overstocked in our department. So almost all of yesterday and today for counts. This takes some time since there are so many items, and this is with me taking an educated guess on some items, like stacks of felt. All this to say that even counting for Hobby Lobby can be an opportunity to work with excellence and reflect Christ.

Take a deep breath. Ultimately, I am counting for Christ and His Kingdom.

Until Next Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010


I work tomorrow. I spend time today cleaning up and organizing after Christmas. I ironed with starch for the first time ever (that I can remember), and I made some yummy pumpkin gingerbread.

I used my elliptical while watching a Netflix movie (Fame, and I enjoyed it), and I am happy to say that I will be doing this more often instead of eating junk food. Much better way to spend my time.


I've been thinking a lot about the use of my time. Well, I guess it's the time God has decided to give to me. How is the best way to manage this time? What is really most important. Right now, I believe that I should organize this time with these priorities:
1) My relationship with God
-reading the Bible and reflecting in prayer
2)My relationship with my husband
-making him the priority when we are together
-keeping the house in order ( clean house, clothes ironed, etc.)
-making meal plans for us
-keeping track of the budget
3)Everyone else
4) Me

Ok, this isn't how I actually manage "my" time, but I believe this is the correct order for my life.

Maybe starting a new year has me thinking of new resolutions-a new start. I might want to make some changes. Here are some thoughts:

Things I want to spend more time doing:
cooking/meal planning
housework/fixing up the house/organizing what we have
other crafts
spending time with family and friends
what Alex wants to do when he is home

Ok, so I can't just decide to do more without doing less as well. Here are some activities I could pull back on:
watching tv/movies
facebooking/other non-productive internet useage

Honestly, these are the only two things I can think of that I can give up to save time. Therefore, I will make this resolution:

If I am going to watch tv I must be doing one of the following:
watching it with someone else as a social activity
working out either on my elliptical or in some other manner
watching with Alex
crafting as long as it isn't slowing me down considerably (although, the best thing to do is to craft with a friend or family member)
Only get on the internet for specific purposes
set myself limits on internet time
use the internet to search for ways to volunteer

For some reason, I can't figure out how to post pictures anymore. I'll look into it.

Anyways, time management. It's important. What's really going to matter in the long run?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

Whew. Starting tomorrow, I am back to tracking what I eat. But the past couple of days have been fun with family and eating yumminess.

Thursday I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and the house looked cleaner than it ever has before. I was exhausted. Then we went over to the in-laws for dinner and Alex worked on a computer-something for his mother, and we got to see Uncle John and Poppa.

Friday I worked at Hobby Lobby and it was boring but I am glad that I still have the job. Another person got fired yesterday. That makes three so far since I've started working. Granted, seasonal workers aren't guaranteed to work past holiday hours, but I'm thankful for every day that I have there. That's one more day closer to being completely debt-free!

After work I went back over to my wonderful in-law family to celebrate Christmas Eve. Sadly, I only got to wave goodbye to a few who were on their way out, but a good time nonetheless.

Christmas morning we got up at 6:30 and opened our presents to each other. Alex very thoughtfully bought me various girly presents-makeup, smell-good spray, a loofa, and a beautiful purple scarf. He also bought me shaving cream, with the promise to buy me more when I run out. He said I should be using that instead of soap because it's better. So I will :) I think we're setting up my elliptical machine tomorrow! I got him some different chocolate and candy, a "to go" mug for his coffee, a couple "best of" Abbott and Costello dvd's and he got an ipod. Great first Christmas with my husband.

Then we went over for a full day of Christmas fun with the Barberi's. Lacey and Justin joined us for breakfast and lunch. The girls got "Just Dance 2" for the Wii and we attempted to dance to all kinds of songs! There's a short video of us dancing up on facebook, so check it out if you want a good laugh. There's also a wonderful video that Uncle John made about being thankful and how Jesus Christ and relationships really are the reason for the season. He did a really great job.

We watched "Despicable Me" and "Paycheck" at two different times during the day. Both good movies; both ones I might watch again.

Alex and I received such wonderful gifts from everyone! We are so blessed by the people who love us. It has also been such a joy to see Poppa and Uncle John for the past couple of days-truly interesting and inspiring relatives.

Missing my grandparents and family that I didn't see, but i think we're going to try to Skype sometime maybe tomorrow.

What a wonderful Christmas-thanks to my Lord and Savior for such a wonderful life.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


One more day of work before Christmas: Christmas Eve I work all day long. I'm not super excited about this, but a job is a job, and I'm glad we're paying off debt. The great thing is that Hobby Lobby closes at 5:30. The bad thing is that we are hanging signs and closing with the manager who doesn't seem to want to leave the store. Maybe it'll be different on Christmas Eve.

Today I have folded two shirts and washed 3/4 of the dishes (the others had to soak). I have watched 3 or 4 episodes of "Lie to Me" and will probably watch more while I finish folding things. I have baked what I need to, but dinner tonight is on our new George Foreman. WAY better since it's bigger and doesn't have the non-stick coating scraped off it.

I am toying with a New Year's resolution. Watching "Julie and Julia" makes me want to try new recipes. I'm not sure I want to "Master the Art of French Cooking," but I might try a modern-day cook that I love, like Rachael Ray. I think it would be good for me to expand my cooking horizons, and might inspire me to try some new techniques. I'm too young to be stuck in a rut just yet, and she seems to be yummy, creative, and pretty healthy. Also, I could probably get away with using her online recipes for free! I don't have any of her cookbooks, but she has plenty online. Maybe in between now and New Year's I'll look into the possibility. I could try one new recipe every day, and post a picture of what I make.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Why do I ever worry about what we are going to eat? Isn't that something Jesus tells us NOT to do, because He's got us taken care of?

Well he definitely does.

Saturday was the Hobby Lobby Christmas party, and there was a lot of Turkey left over. So I took a plateful to make a casserole. The other ingredients in the casserole are already in the kitchen. Check off a couple of meals already.

I took some chicken out of the freezer, and then we didn't end up eating it the other day (we got Burger King instead, which comes from a different spending category) and now it is marinating in the fridge. Thanks to my wonderful mom, I now have a new, bigger George Foreman grill, so I can also make grilled chicken for a meal sometime.

My family came over for Christmas last night since they're leaving for North Carolina to be with my grandparents on Christmas day. I bought a ham from Aldi for us to eat, and we have a TON of leftovers. Not only does Alex want them in his lunch for his sandwich, but I'm using the bone and meat in the crock pot with some beans today for another meal.

So to wrap it up, the only things that I probably need to go grocery shopping for this week are apples and coffee, and only maybe coffee. The others are not necessary because we already have so much food! I'm not even sure we're going to eat it all, because some of the meals at the end of the week are at my in-laws house!

So I may not go for a "full" trip until next year. We really have enough leftovers to last us a couple of weeks!

Why do I worry? God's got me taken care of again and again and again.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Today was a mom/daughter day. My mom's been my best friend and mentor, and I've missed spending time with her. We used to talk. A LOT. Being married has definitely changed that. Change is fun and good (in this instance), but I do miss spending time with her. We watched the ANTM finale together-we used to watch every episode together. We also went to Goodwill and Aldi-places we used to frequent quite often. We sipped hot cocoa and chatted on my couch, planning for family Christmas on Sunday. It was lovely, and I hope it happens again soon.

Keeping up good relationships with family is important to me. Something I'd like to keep a priority. Good life-conversations.

I love my mom :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

and the budgeting continues

You know what I enjoy?Washing breakfast dishes after having all the dishes washed from the night before. There are hardly any, and it takes maybe five minutes to complete. I just finished and I feel happy about it. I might even wash the coffee pot today after my one person lunch dishes.

So there are five weeks in December. I know that every month does not have exactly four weeks, but since being married it has ended up being pretty easy to do the "four weeks per month"grocery shopping.

Well, it's finally caught up. My budget is $400/month, and I know that should be pretty easy to do. But I plan on being able to spend about $100 a week, so that's how I've been shopping. This week I spent a little more because I included buying a pair of work pants for Alex. If I need to I can put that money into the "spending" account.

Anyways, I keep an excel spreadsheet of all our spending on a monthly basis. I put in the amount and realized "This is how much I have left, and it's only the amount for one week, but there are still two weeks left in December!"

Thus begins the search for super cheap meal plans for the next couple of weeks. I shop for the week ahead of time, so this is for the weeks of Christmas and New Years. Thankfully there are the Holidays in these weeks, so some of our meals will be with family. I will be contributing, but I will not be planning the whole meal. I still have to decide what I'm bringing to Christmas breakfast and lunch with my in-laws....

I am finding some interesting ideas! Some I will probably never do because they include things I don't really want to eat or ever care to try, but some have great ideas. This week I'm already using some leftover whole wheat spaghetti to make a casserole-it's a kickback to the "spaghetti blanco" I made in home ec in 7th grade. Alex should like it because it has sausage in it.

One last story. I thought I might be snowed in on Monday, and I REALLY needed to go grocery shopping. Just in case I didn't, I made a "lots of" bean and no meat chili. Here is the recipe.
My husband informed me before we got married that he does not like chili. This was my first attempt, and I was a little nervous because there wasn't any meat in it. I didn't include meat because the only meat left in the house was one tiny leftover hamburger.

He like it! He actually got a second bowl of it! I did put cheese on top, and brought out the oyster crackers, but he actually liked it! Easy, cheap, pretty healthy, and enjoyable. I felt proud.

There will be more meals like this in the future.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

incredible weekend

Friday was a WoW day with David and Ashten. I made bugers and we played and played until I was too sleepy to play anymore-about 11pm.

Saturday I worked until 5pm and ordered most of the time.

Then we got ready and left for a Christmas party/reunion at Bethany's apartment. I am SO THANKFUL that Alex drove because the rain was TERRIBLE and I was really nervous, but he handled it just fine.

Alex and I, Bethany and Shadrick, Josh and Kelli, Freya and Winston, AND Britney and Ben were all at the part and it was absolutely amazing to see them all again in one place. Incredible. I felt so happy, and Alex said he didn't really want to leave when it was time! However, the threat of cold weather demanded that we head home kind of early. But wow, what a great memory, I can't wait to see the pictures.

Sunday we went to Church and enjoyed the Christmas program. We tried to go to small group, but the room was the "Girl's changing room" so we left and went to the Jandreaus and had second breakfast. We played WoW in the afternoon, and decorated gingerbread houses in the evening. It snowed all afternoon and it was beautiful. Yet again Alex's driving skills came in handy on the way home.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Golden Rule

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

This morning I have spent plenty of time snacking, watching Netflix, and doing only a few productive things: switching out laundry and meal planning. I'm about to make a list of all of our spending for December so far-which should be interesting since we bought our Christmas presents, and I'm planning to make the rest of them. I hope it all works out; I'll feel much better when it's all over (the Christmas present making). I think next year I'm going to start planning early and either make everything way ahead of time or save up to buy it or something.

Days after I close seem to be my "I just wanna chill" days. But I gotta actually get up and fold some clothes and get dinner started. On these kinds of days after Christmas, I'll be able to hop on the elliptical when I want to watch a tv show. At least that will put more movement in my day.

Even though some days aren't super productive, I do like having days where I am home when Alex gets home it's wonderful to not have to hurry and then just be excited to see him.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Yesterday I decided to put on makeup and fix my hair before going into work. I had been going with my hair pulled back in a messy bun/ponytail, no makeup, and glasses. My manager had me on a register, so I wouldn't be running all over the store as much. I also thought that it was time for a good impression for some of the customers.

I can't remember how many times I got complements on my hair and/or makeup. I guess there was a pretty drastic difference. Now I'm not worried about self-esteem issues with myself, but it did make me realize that maybe I should look nicer when I leave the house. Making a good impression is a benefit in this world, no matter who I'm talking to.

Being a Christian is becoming more like Christ and sharing His good new with everyone. Now, I don't think Christ was worried about His hair being perfect, but he did care about people. I know that I don't have to "have it all together" but as a Christ follower I also don't want to look like I'm falling apart just because I didn't feel like getting ready for work today.

So those are my thoughts on the issue. I should have time to get ready since I'm not working as many days-and I could have time to get ready even if I worked every day.

I want my appearance, my attitude, my conversations, and everything about my life to reflect my Savior.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas presents

I'm getting an elliptical machine for Christmas!! Haha, Alex and I decided to talk about our presents ahead of time, and we found one for a good price on Amazon! Now instead of snacking in from of the tv, I can exercise! I more than a little excited.

I also ordered a few little surprises for Alex, so I won't say what else I got. Man, online shopping is super fun.

I'm only working three days this week=less money=more time to do other things. Honestly, I think the benefits will outweigh the costs.

Other thoughts that keep swimming in my head.

Alex and I were talking about the cosmetology school. He asked "How long will it take?" It will take about ten months. Then he said "You would go before you got a new car?" I replied, "Yes, then I could work to get the car." Then he said, "So you would finish school, and then maybe by that time you would want a baby or something." And I realized that was our plan. That's what we had talked about-waiting a couple of years before having kids, and this May will mark one year, and then a year from then will be a couple years. And I really wanted to have a better car before driving little ones around. And we had both decided that I wouldn't work outside the home once we had kids. That's what we believe is the best option for everyone. This doesn't mean that I'm not going, it just means that I'm really thinking about what is the best, God-honoring decision for our family. The money that would go to school could go towards that Nissan Versa I really like, but will take some time to save up for. How important is all of this to me? How much of it is really under my control is the better question. Who knows if we'll be able to have kids right away, or if I will even get to keep my position after the Holiday season at Hobby Lobby. They have verbally said they will try to keep me, but nothing has been finalized.

So for now I will wait, and pray, and do my best at all that I can do. I'm looking forward to work this week.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

small groups

Today was Pastor Sid's last day. Today was our first day in a small group.

The title of the group was "20's and 30's" so Alex and I decided to check it out. Plus, Pastor Dave recommended it, saying that it is just starting up.

We both sat down. The man leading the group introduced himself and his wife. I'd say they were both in their 50's or sixties. Another couple about that same age walked in and asked if the "old couple" could still join the group. The man said "of course!" so the wife sat down and her husband promised to return after singing in the choir for the second service.

That was the group today. The group leader said that he wants the group to be for all ages, stating that the older groups have wisdom to offer for the younger. He spoke on 1 Corinthians 4 and the church and showed genuine interest in each group member. I had sort of a hard time concentrating, but I could tell that he was passionate about God's word.

Alex said that he love it and wanted to go back. I am thrilled he feels so sure. He said that he could tell Satan didn't want him to go to the small group, and that may be why I had a hard time concentrating. This made him all the more determined to go. I can tell we are going to learn a lot. Alex said he does feel comfortable in that group, so we are definitely going back next week.

He also said something else on our way to church this morning. We do not go to church for ourselves, to get something out of it. We go to church because God tells us to, and we grow as a result. Sometimes he amazes me, and I'm so proud to be the wife of such a godly, growing man.

Friday, December 3, 2010

chores and prayers

Sweeping and mopping floors aren't my favorite chores, but I love the results! Today I'm using the swiffer to keep up the shiny floors. Also laundry. Always laundry.

I'm beginning to get excited. Super duper excited. I found a tech school (thanks, mom) fairly close by that has a cosmetology program for about a third of the price of most school. That's what was keeping me from going-the cost of most cosmetology schools is more than we can afford right now. I've loved the idea of going for some time now, but needed to finish college first. This one is "do-able" and I'm getting more info today!

So, I'm praying, and I'd appreciate prayer from others. Definitely something I feel is OK with me and God, but I don't want my own selfish ambitions to get in the way of doing His will.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The day off

Today I don't work! So I made myself a long list of things to do today before Alex gets home. The house is going to be clean and his work clothes will be's been a while since I've done these things.

This morning right after Alex left for work, I watched ANTM, and it was fantastic. I almost cried.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

working a closing

I tried making pumpkin muffins from a recipe that is low calorie. I thought I'd try using sucralose (splenda) in the recipe. This is a terrible idea. It was gross and I felt sick the rest of the day. Mom took a few home, but I'm throwing the rest of them away today. From now on I am just going to use sugar and be careful with how much I eat.

After about 9pm, I feel like my body just doesn't want to be awake anymore. Closings are difficult for this reason, and the next morning I just want to law around. At least I am not going into work until 1pm. Last night closing this week! Maybe we'll get out at 9pm instead of 9:20 tonight. I just need to get a better late night attitude and perseverance.